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Tree Pruning Mistakes To Steer Clear Of

Nov 27, 2023

Trees add beauty and aesthetic appeal to any property. That’s why Gold Coast residents love having them in their gardens. To keep trees healthy and thriving, they need proper care and maintenance, this includes tree pruning. However, pruning trees is more complex than just trimming some branches every now and then. There are proper techniques to follow, and mistakes during the process can severely damage or irreversibly harm your trees. In this article, we’ll look at some of the common pruning mistakes that DIY-ers make and how you can avoid them to keep your trees looking lush and healthy all year round.

Common Tree Pruning Mistakes To Avoid


When it comes to pruning trees, less is more. Over-pruning occurs when excessive tree branches or canopies are removed. DIY enthusiasts usually do this to enhance sunlight exposure or improve aesthetics. However, if you prune too aggressively, it can actually damage the tree’s health and appearance, resulting in:

  • Disease and pest infestation
  • Rotting
  • Branch breakage 
  • Tree structural damage
  • Unbalanced growth
  • Collapsing trunk
  • Reduction in overall leaf surface, which is harmful to photosynthesis

An experienced tree pruning service provider should remove, at most, 10-15 % of live foliage at any given time.


Topping refers to the practice of cutting the top of the tree to reduce height. Unfortunately, this technique is an enormous mistake. It can lead to quick regrowth of poorly connected branches, making them more susceptible to breakage during storms. It also leaves behind large wounds that are vulnerable to decay and infections.

Another downside of topping is that is encourages water sprouts, commonly called suckers, to grow. They are called such because they suck essential resources out of the tree. It’s necessary to remove them immediately.

Removing Bark / Pruning Too Close to the Trunk

Tree bark is the protective outer layer of a tree. It’s made up of various tissues that protect the trunk. Removing the bark and pruning too closely to the trunk can lead to substantial wounds that may never heal. The damage can be extensive, allowing pests and diseases to quickly penetrate the inner layers of wood.

Cutting the Largest Branches

Considering the branch size is crucial during tree pruning, as removing the largest branches can cause significant harm to the tree’s overall well being. Refrain from cutting the main leading branches, as these are vital to the tree’s health.

Pruning at the Wrong Time of Year

Different tree species have different growth patterns and pruning requirements. Some trees thrive when pruned during their dormancy period, while others require pruning during their growing season. Hiring a professional tree pruning service can help determine the best time to prune your trees, depending on their species and needs.

Not Calling Professional Arborists

Tree pruning is more complex than it seems, and often, it’s better to leave the job to the professionals. It’s essential to seek advice from experienced arborists to avoid safety hazards. Professional arborists can assess the tree’s current health conditions and carry out correct tree pruning methods while following state and local council regulations.

Avoid Tree Pruning Mistakes By Speaking To Frontier Tree Services


Incorrect tree pruning can lead to unforeseen consequences, including the poor health of your trees, costly treatments and even tree removal if preservation isn’t an option anymore. This is especially true for DIY’ers unfamiliar with the complexities of possible tree pruning mistakes. 

It’s best to consult a reliable tree care service like Frontier Tree Services. We have skilled arborists who adhere to the Pruning Amenity Trees AS:4373 standard in all tree service tasks we carry out. We’ll work with you to achieve your desired tree aesthetic while prioritising your tree’s long-term health, safety, and vitality.

If you’d like help avoiding making these common tree-pruning mistakes, contact us today for a chat. 

Related Article:

Why Should You Hire An Arborist Instead Of Pruning That Tree Yourself


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